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Old August 3, 2009, 04:13 PM   #1
Join Date: March 9, 2009
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30-06 loads

I'm working up some loads for my 30-06 I'm using 155gr Amax bullets. I'm loading 20 each with imr-4350 50.4 52.3 54.2 56.1 58 and 59.9 the last 2 loads are in the neck of the case and will be compressed. I have 2 questions 1 is that a bad idea to compress those (there both in my load book), 2 should I make less than 20 of each for testing?
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Old August 3, 2009, 04:34 PM   #2
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If I were you I would go in .5g increments. Make 10 of each, and then shoot 5 at a time going up in charge. See what patterns out the way you like, and make sure you look for high pressure signs. Your probably going to reach high pressure up at the top.

When you shoot 5 of each, look at the groups and see which one pan out. Test 5 of each again, and check. Based on those results that will tell you if your first or second attemps were flukes but the load DOES shoot good, or if you shot well with one that diddnt pan out.

Then, take your best groupings and make 5 or 10 of the good load, and then 5 or 10 with .3 grains less and .3 grains more.

Shoot those and fine tune to your desired results.
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Old August 3, 2009, 04:44 PM   #3
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Antihero47 gives good advice.

Hodgdon lists the load min at 56.0 and Max at 62.0C (compressed). Since IMR4350 usually gets better accuracy at or near max, I would start a 56.0 and work up.

Depending on the case you are using (you did not list the cases you are using) cases can take more powder if you use a long dro tube and/or vibrate the case.
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Old August 3, 2009, 05:03 PM   #4
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The other fellows posted while I was composing, so some of this reiterrates what they said, but I've tried to give some specific reasons you should follow what they said on load increments.

Two problems. First is that you a jumping up in 2 grain steps. That is way bigger than it takes to completely skip over an accuracy sweet spot load, missing it entirely. It is also a big enough jump in pressure, especially when powder is compressed, that you could go from OK to leaky primers and sticky bolts all in one step. Use 0.5 grain steps at most.

Keep in mind that the loads in a manual are not a list of loads that the manual author knows are all good to go in your gun. All we know for sure is that they were good to go in his gun. The starting load is lowest load in the list, but unless it is a list of target loads, it is also the BIGGEST load the author believes is guaranteed to be safe in your gun. Anything bigger may not be safe, and that is why you work up from that lowest starting load in small steps, watching for pressure signs (search this forum on pressure signs).

Personally, I like to use 0.3 grains steps for load work-ups. I charge six cases with the starting load and three cases with each step above that all the way up to the maximum I expect will be useful in my gun. I use one of those extra fine Sharpies to label each case. Only the starting loads get bullets seated in them. All the rest get small rubber stoppers put in them. I arrange them in boxes so I will have three sets of loads going from the starting load up in three separate boxes, all in the same order within each box. I used to use little wads of paper towel with a cover of gum wrapper or aluminum foil or Saran Wrap before I got the stopper collection. The charged and corked cases travel to the range with me in that condition. At the range I use a Lee hand press and a seater die to seat each bullet just before I shoot it (and after pulling the stopper, of course). This way I don't wind up with any bullets to pull apart later if I find the load is getting too hot.

I take a target with as many bulls on it as I have different loads to shoot. Black spray paint and a homemade cardboard stencil makes twenty targets on a roll of shelf paper in a few minutes, though the stick-on Shoot-N-See's are fun if you have the money to blow that day. You don't need scoring rings of any kind.

I shoot the first three starting loads as sighters and to foul the barrel. I then shoot one round at a time, working up through the loads in the first box, putting each consecutive round on the next bullseye in line. I then take the second box and go back to the first bullseye and do it all over again. Then again for a third time. This is Dan Newberry's round robin method.

In the end I have twenty bulls each of which has three holes made by the same load. I then look for three groups in a row (9 shots total) that are all smaller than the rest and are consistent and centered at the same place on the bull where the other two are. The middle load of the three is usually a good sweet spot load. If the three most consistent loads are not the smallest group, I figure the gun may need some other work. Re-bedding, re-crowning, and firelapping are all steps that benefit the majority of factory guns, and may need to be done? If those steps don't tighten the groups up, then a barrel tuning weight may be in order.

Read Newberry's information. I think you'll find it interesting. Welcome to the load development game.
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Last edited by Unclenick; August 3, 2009 at 05:13 PM.
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